THE FUTURE IS ASIAN: Commerce, Conflict, and Culture in the 21st Century

The Future Is Asian by Parag Khanna

The definitive guide to Asia’s global influence in the 21st century

In the 19th century, the world was Europeanized. In the 20th century, it was Americanized. Now, in the 21st century, the world is being irreversibly Asianized. 

The Future Is Asian Map by Parag Khanna

The “Asian Century” is even bigger than you think. Far greater than just China, the new Asian system taking shape is a multi-civilizational order spanning Saudi Arabia to Japan, and Russia to Australia—linking five billion people through trade, finance and infrastructure networks that together represent 40 percent of global GDP. China has taken a lead in building the new Silk Roads across Asia, but it will not lead it alone. Rather, Asia is returning to the stable multipolar order that existed long before European colonialism and American dominance, with India and Southeast Asia coming into their own as economic and strategic hubs. Large but dormant societies from Iran to Indonesia are finally emerging, teeming with young and urban, ambitious and entrepreneurial youth, while from Saudi Arabia to Vietnam, privatization is unlocking a new wave of growth. Asians are sharing economic and governance models as never before, and their confident outward push is reshaping business and culture life across North America and Europe, South America and Africa. From investment portfolios and trade wars to Hollywood movies and holiday travels, no aspect of life is immune from Asianization.

The world has gotten used to hearing “America First”—but is it ready for “Asia First”? What happens when Asia no longer just produces for the West but the West produces for Asia? And when Asians don’t aspire to live like the West but rather Western societies wish they had Asians’ stability and far-sighted leadership? Get ready to see the world, and the future, from the Asian point-of-view. 

Dr. Parag Khanna’s latest book The Future is Asian presents this irrepressible global Asianization through detailed analysis, data and maps of Asia’s major markets and their combined impact on global economy, society and governance. With his trademark conceptual clarity and on-the-ground reportage, Khanna provides essential guidance for executives as they look to hedge their China exposure and capture the next big commercial opportunities across Asia from real estate and retail to finance and technology, and attract Asian capital and talent into their operations at home and abroad. With his intimate knowledge of Asian history and geopolitics, he also paints a compelling vision of a balanced global system of shared responsibilities across America, Europe and Asia. Following on the heels of his pioneering trilogy that concluded with the revolutionary Connectography (2016), The Future is Asian will similarly serve as a global strategic roadmap for decades to come.

The Future Is Asian Book Covers by Parag Khanna
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“In The Future is Asian, Parag Khanna paints a vibrant and multi-faceted picture of the economic, political and cultural dynamics shaping Asia and the world more broadly. This is a thought-provoking work that deserves to be read by practitioners, scholars and general readers alike.”

— The Hon. Kevin Rudd, 26th Prime Minister Of Australia, and President, Asia Society Policy Institute

“Understanding the global economy in this century means above all understanding that it is likely to be an Asian century. Parag Khanna’s important book provides a rich perspective going well beyond the economic statistics. Everyone concerned with the future of the global economy should consider its arguments.”

Lawrence H. Summers, Former Secretary of The Treasury, Former Director of The National Economic Council, and Harvard President Emeritus

“For most of recorded history, Asia was the economic, technological and cultural centre of the world. From that perspective, the last 500 years of western dominance almost appear an aberration. This book imagines what reprising the lead role would look like for Asia, and what it means for the rest of the world. An indispensible book for the ‘Asian Century’.”

Tony Fernandes, Co-Founder and Group CEO, AirAsia

The Future is Asian delves into the rich history of Asian civilizations engaging in robust patterns of commerce and culture—and the rediscovery of those ties in the post-Cold War world—and offers intriguing ideas on the potential for an ‘Asianisation’ of the global order. Parag Khanna makes a strong case for an Asia coming of age, driven by confidence in Asia’s own past and the plurality that is inherent to the region. His suggestion that Asia offers an ideal alternative to the declining hegemony of the west is provocative and visionary. A stimulating read.”

— Shashi Tharoor, Member Of The Indian Parliament

and Former UN Undersecretary General

“Asia is vast, bustling and rapidly becoming an integrated, world-dominating region, according to this sprawling geo-economic study... Khanna’s wealth of statistics, deep knowledge, and lucid prose make for a stimulating overview of the rising colossus.”

Publishers Weekly

“Khanna illuminates the global tectonic shift to Asia - but argues provocatively that a rising China will be entangled in a multipolar region.”

— Graham. T Allison, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School, and author of Destined For War

“When our grandchildren want to understand how, in the early 21st century, Asia came to occupy—or rather, reoccupy—the cultural and economic center of the planet, they will read the magisterial work of Parag Khanna.”

— Paul Salopek, National Geographic Fellow

“Parag Khanna’s magisterial work weaves a powerful story where business, technology, globalization and geopolitics are intertwined. This is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the role of Asia in shaping the future of the world.”

— Nandan Nilekani, Co-founder And Chairman Of Infosys, and Founding Chairman Of Aadhaar (Uidai)

“The 21st century is the century of Asia. I suggest you read this book even if you are already aware!”

— Jim Rogers, International Investor and author of Street Smarts: Adventure On The Road And In The Market

“Dazzling... elegantly lays out the vast range and enormous potential of the Asian system. Thorough and clear, offering abundant food for thought.”

Kirkus Reviews

"An upbeat examination of a changing “Greater Asia”... Eurasia’s future is likely to be more ductile than fixed and hegemonic. In this new world order, actions still lead to reactions."

The Economist

"The Future Is Asian offers a valuable and thoroughly researched analysis."

The Wall Street Journal

“Authoritative... may well become a standard reference.”

James Kynge, Financial Times

"As China rises steadily to become the largest economy in the world, other Asian powers will also emerge. India is an equally dynamic civilisation. Southeast Asia, led by ASEAN, will be a major growth center. To understand and deal with a new multipolar Asia, there could be no better guide for China than this book. A must read!"

— Kishore Mahbubani, founding dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

"Like it or not, the world's economic, political, and cultural power is shifting (back) to Asia. Parag Khanna brilliantly explains the whys and hows and extrapolates future trends. This book should be read by policy-makers, academics, and anybody else who wants to make sense of our new world."

— Daniel A. Bell (贝淡宁), Dean, School of Political Science and Public Administration, Shandong University

"A serious and well-documented attempt to make the case that the American century is giving way to a century in which economic and political power is increasingly centred on Asia. Khanna is keen to challenge the Sino-centric view of Asia, insisting on the importance of other countries and regions."

— Gideon Rachman, Financial Times